Week two and I’m already late with my wrap-up. Oops! We’re actually taking an easy couple of weeks this past week and the current week. Not really a break but definitely not a full schedule. Mr. Hamp has taken a lot of extra shifts over the last couple of weeks which has caused a bit of a stress situation here, I think I’m having flashbacks of residency.
This week EJ did Right Start Math Level C lessons 8-14 which was mostly review covering evens/odds, graphs, beginning multiples. New material that was covered was Roman Numerals. EJ is on a comic book phase and has been reading quite a bit of Asterix anthologies. Asterix is a French comic strip that takes place in the year 50 BCE, during the Roman invasion of Gaul (modern day France), the strip revolves around the fictitious village of Armorica where the indomitable-Gauls were somehow able to hold off invasion by the Roman Empire. Naturally when there are numerals or dates in the strips they are Roman numerals which he hasn’t been able to read. So yea, he was excited to learn Roman Numerals, and I am always excited when math becomes relevant to other things he’s experiencing.
Because this was planned to be an easy week I decided to stop moving forward on our pre-history study and focus for just a bit longer on life prior to the rise of mammals. Our main item for the week was EJ’s first research report. I asked him to pick a dinosaur that we would research together and create a small report on our findings. He chose Hypsilophodon. I helped him use Google to search out his dinosaur and helped him choose the best sites from the search results. We looked at two different sites and found some discrepancies in descriptions of hypsilophodon. Of course with paleontology and ancient creatures there are discrepancies simply because we don’t have all of the information. Still, I told him that because the information didn’t match we needed to find a third source to confirm what the best answer was. My goal was to help him begin to think critically about source material and understand that we often need to look to multiple sources to get a complete and accurate picture of the thing we are learning about.
One of the most interesting facts according to EJ was that scientists first thought hypsilophodon lived in trees, you can see right in the middle an illustration of it on a tree branch. We laughed at how silly that looked and then talked about how scientists correct the record when they discover mistakes have been made. Other big mistakes from dino paleontology include Apatosaurus/Brontosaurus and more recently Triceratops/Torosaurus.
Not surprisingly there is a Magic School bus picture book for just about every science topic you can imagine. These are big hits at our house and although they don’t go into quite as much detail as the chapter books, the kids and I seem to enjoy them more.
“When Fish Got Feet, Sharks Got Teeth, and Bugs Began to Swarm” by Hannah Bonner is a comic book style overview of the Silurian and Devonian periods. It can be difficult to find interesting picture books for history prior to the age of dinosaurs so I really appreciate this look at two earlier periods. We’ll be looking for her follow up book “When Bugs Were Big, Plants Were Strange, and Tetrapods Stalked the Earth”
Just for fun we re-read Dinosaurs Before Dark and then moved on to the non-fiction companion book that goes along with it. I think we will continue to use the Magic Tree House series in our history study. _______________________
I don’t expect I’ll be doing a weekly review at the end of this week. But stay tuned for my post about a science lessons we did this week from the Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding.